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Lebanon’s Army Separates Rival Protests Near Presidential Palace

Lebanon’s Army Separates Rival Protests Near Presidential Palace

Sunday, 1 December, 2019 - 18:45
Protesters near the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon Sunday December 1, 2019. NNA
Asharq Al-Awsat

The Lebanese army deployed on Sunday near the presidential palace east of Beirut to prevent friction between rival protesters as the cabinet formation stalemate continued.

Anti-government protesters had called for a rally Sunday outside the Presidential Palace in Baabda to press President Michel Aoun to formally begin the process of forming a new government.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Oct. 29 amid nationwide protests accusing the political elite of corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

The call prompted a counter-rally by supporters of Aoun who called him a “red line.”

Soldiers formed a human chain to separate the groups on the highway leading to the palace, preventing clashes.

Aoun is yet to call for binding parliamentary consultations to name a new PM.

Pro-Aoun protesters stressed that the president should not be insulted and his office should be respected.

But Aoun, along with other politicians, has remained the target of anti-government demonstrators who have been protesting since Oct. 17.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters marched toward central Beirut amid a deepening economic crisis.

They marched under the slogans “Sunday of Clarity” and “Unity and Solidarity of the Lebanese People”.

They called for the formation of a government of technocrats to “take urgent measures in the face of the economic collapse caused by the ruling class.”

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